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Response to DanTex (Reply #51)

Sat Dec 17, 2011, 11:59 PM

60. You either know better or you should

 

The second amendment is about militias vs a standing army, a debate which today is basically obsolete.

What is actually obsolete is your characterization of the debate. The Second Amendment was intended to keep the government from infringing on the rights of ordinary people to keep and bear arms. The stated reason was the necessity of a militia. But, as I have explained to you before, it is—and was at the time—a cannon of legal interpretation that the preamble to a law or statute is not a limit on the exercise of the right protected in cases like the Second Amendment (in cases where the statement of the right is clear and unambiguous). In other words, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not only protected when it served militia interests. The right does not depend on the militia, or even—as the Supreme Court has repeatedly said—on the Constitution.

Now the individual right to keep and bear arms, like the other rights in the Bill of Rights, was only understood to protect against federal infringement. In order to reverse this the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly overruled the Supreme Court to ensure that the personal, individual right to keep and bear arms was protected against the States, the very states that had control over militias. The idea that the Second Amendment was written to protect states, which you have put forth before, flies in the face of history. It is so untenable that scholars who viscerally despise the RKBA have forsaken it. Your position is obsolete, a discredited theory like the flatness of the earth or the theory that the earth is the center of the universe. The only people who still cling to this position are either ignorant or dishonest.

Nevertheless, regarding what right-wingers and NRA gun militants like to pretend 2A is about -- the "right" to own and carry guns around for whatever purpose -- it's simply not civil right.

You are technically correct. There is no right to own and carry guns for "whatever purpose." There are laws against carrying guns for criminal purposes and they are perfectly legitimate. There are laws against using speech for criminal purposes—like fraud, ordering a hit, inciting violence, passing military secrets to the enemy, etc. It is illegal to use religion for "whatever purpose"—try using it as a defense for practicing human sacrifice. No right, no right whatsoever, can be used for "whatever purpose."

Would you be so kind as to cite anyone, anywhere, who believes that people have a right to keep and bear arms for "whatever purpose"? If you do, I will show you a person who does not speak for the NRA, and who needs immediate mental health attention. (Or you could simply admit that your straw man has failed.)

Fortunately, like the controversies over the shape of the earth and the true center of the solar system, this is one of those cases where public opinion and reality are aligned. American voters "overwhelmingly" agree with the Supreme Court Heller ruling: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x177676

Those interested in the historical basis for my statements can read more here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=118&topic_id=300206&mesg_id=300331

and here...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x229712

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